€48 million invested in start-ups by Enterprise Ireland in 2020

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD has announced that Enterprise Ireland invested more than €48 million (the highest level of funding to date) towards Irish start-ups in 2020, supporting a total of 125 new start-up companies.

Investment was provided through Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) and Competitive Start Fund (CSF) programmes.

The Covid-19 Sustaining Enterprise Fund and an increase in follow-on investments to help HPSUs scale internationally boosted investment in innovative High Potential Start-Ups in 2020.

Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment said: “I have nothing but admiration for the many entrepreneurs across the country who have been brave enough to start up new businesses during the pandemic. It’s been an incredibly difficult year. I have seen countless examples all across the country of business owners overcoming adversity and demonstrating the kind of ingenuity, adaptability and resilience that entrepreneurs are known for.”


Kevin Sherry, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland commented: “In what has been an incredibly challenging time for all businesses, it is really important to recognise 125 of Ireland’s most exciting new start-up companies with ambitious growth plans. Start-ups are a powerful driver of economic growth, new talent and innovation.

“Now, more than ever, we need to be innovative and carve out more niches in international markets where business can thrive.”

Start-ups supported by Enterprise Ireland in 2020 include:

• 80 High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) investments - start-up businesses with the potential to create 10 jobs and €1 million in sales within three to four years of starting up.
• 45 Competitive Start Fund (CSF) investments, which inject critical early-stage funding into new businesses.


Of the Start-ups supported:

• 50% are located outside of Dublin.
• 38 are women-led start-up companies.
• 12 HPSUs were successfully commercialised in partnership with 3rd level research institutions.
• 44 additional HPSUs received follow-on investment funding as their businesses scaled.

Jenny Melia, Divisonal Manager, High Potential Start-Ups, Enterprise Ireland added: “In Enterprise Ireland, we have always been committed to helping founders to start and grow their businesses internationally and in 2020, we also focussed on supporting these businesses as they navigated their way through the pandemic.

Showcasing Ireland’s Entrepeneurial Talent

The Enterprise Ireland Start-Up Showcase took place on Wednesday 24th February with one-to-one virtual investor meetings following the event and is now available to watch online.

The virtual event featured a keynote address from Des Traynor, CSO, Intercom and panel discussions featuring Nicky Deasy, Managing Partner, Yield Lab; Brian Shields, CEO, Neurent Medical; James Ives, CEO, XOCEAN; Helen McBreen, Investment Director, Atlantic Bridge; Conor O’Loughlin, CEO, Glofox and Alan Coleman, CEO, Sweepr.

If you missed Start-Up Showcase 2021, you can watch it back here.